THE Chipata High Court on Thursday sentenced a blind man to 25 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling a 12-year-old. Before Lusaka Judge Mwape Dancewell Bowa who is sitting in Chipata was Manase Phiri who was committed to the High Court for sentencing by the subordinate court. Phiri, who is advanced in age, told the court that he does not know his age.
In mitigation, defence counsel Susan Kwenye from Legal Aid Board said Phiri was a first offender who was remorseful for his action. Kwenye said if granted a second chance, he could reform and contribute positively to the development of the country. She asked the court to exercise leniency when meting out an appropriate sentence. Judge Bowa said he heard what was said in mitigation but noted that such offences have continued to be perpetrated by men around the country.
Judge Bowa said Phiri defiled his friend’s daughter thereby abusing his position of trust. He said the 25-year sentence was with effect from November 2018 when Phiri committed the crime. Judge Bowa also sentenced Chiukepo Chipoka of Lundazi to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour for trafficking in psychotropic substances. Chipoka was committed to the High Court for sentencing because he was a second offender.
Judge Bowa said previously Chipoka was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment with hard labour for a similar offence.
“You have not learnt a lesson from the first sentence that you were given by the lower court. I sentence you to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from 10 November 2018,” said judge Bowa.